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Qumulo Improves DevOps Functionality with New CSI Driver

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Today, Qumulo announced support for Kubernetes customers via a container storage interface (CSI) driver made available as a production preview.

Utilize industry-leading unstructured data storage for all your containerized data applications

Qumulo is at the forefront to clear the path and make it simple to store, manage and create with unstructured data at massive scale. Our mission is simple – to be the de facto file data management platform to store the world’s unstructured data. To make that mission a reality, our engineers innovate to ensure Qumulo Core works on any platform. Want to run Qumulo on-prem? Qumulo Server Q is made for you. Want to run Qumulo in the cloud? Qumulo Cloud Q runs natively on AWS, Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform. Want a hybrid of on-prem and cloud? Our software has the capability to run the same instance on both without separate file systems.

While the explosion of the world’s unstructured data continues to grow by leaps and bounds, one area Qumulo has been targeting is customers whose data resides in containers managed by Kubernetes. Today, Qumulo announced support for Kubernetes customers via a container storage interface (CSI) driver made available as a production preview. Now, customers innovating using Kubernetes don’t have to set up a storage interface each time a cluster is set up or knocked down – the process is automatic and provides the containerized application maximum exposure to the Qumulo analytics so that customers can easily understand what’s happening across their stored data.

Big Benefits from Coupling Unstructured Data with a CSI Driver

To understand how big an achievement this is, and why Qumulo is investing in the DevOps and container space, it helps to understand what Kubernetes is and why a CSI driver like ours is necessary to build a file system for container use.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a popular framework for running a containerized system that customers are increasingly seeking to support with some kind of durable storage on the back end. Kubernetes operates a cluster of machines, starting and stopping containers on behalf of its users. At its core, this makes figuring out how to deal with storage tricky. While they’re moving containers from machine to machine, storage typically doesn’t span machines.

For many customers, the solution to this problem is to make their data stateless, only living for the life of the container. But this is not useful for certain applications that need to share data, like many of the applications Qumulo customers rely on, including data analytics, retail operations and software development. To solve this problem, there is a standard container storage interface (CSI) that allows the orchestrator and individual containers to connect to external (persistent) storage.

Why a CSI Driver is so Important

Qumulo’s development of a CSI driver now solves the problem of a lack of persistent storage: instead of having to set up a Qumulo instance each time a container’s life starts, Qumulo storage will automatically deploy inside the new container. This saves hours of tedious labor for the administrator while ensuring that developers won’t get storage-related pushback for wanting to innovate new uses for their containers.

Qumulo CSI Driver for Kubernetes: See it in Action

To get a better idea of how powerful the Qumulo CSI driver can be, here’s what it looks like in action:

Now DevOps professionals and developers can use Qumulo in new ways alongside their containerized applications. Imagine being an international retailer. Each of your stores has numerous point of sale (POS) and revenue data being created and stored each day. Using containers to build an instance for each store, and Kubernetes to manage, is a great way to cut a lot of the time associated with expansion. Building an application that encompasses all of the local stores and backing that up with Qumulo’s file data platform via the Qumulo CSI driver would mean storage can automatically expand and scale with each new container/store brought into the company, all while adding data location and usage data into the core application. In this way, Qumulo functions as more than just storage – it adds value to the application while adding a measurable financial benefit in time saved.

Qumulo CSI Driver for Kubernetes in the Cloud

These benefits extend into the cloud as well. Cloud provider’s Kubernetes platforms will also now communicate with Qumulo software, adding yet another dimension into the work developers can do in the public cloud. As Qumulo works with all of the major public cloud partners, whichever cloud infrastructure you want hosting your containerized apps, Qumulo’s persistent storage can meet you and offer the same major benefits: scale, performance, multi-protocol support and price.

Ultimately, containers and cloud are here to stay. According to a recent report, 90% of container users utilize managed cloud services and the average number of pods in an organization has doubled over the last two years. As these areas continue to grow into the more ‘traditional’ IT organizations it will become increasingly important to partner with companies that develop more forward-thinking approaches to software, anywhere.

“The applications that power discovery and creation are moving from monolithic applications to cloud native microservices, built on containers and managed by Kubernetes. But those microservices need access to the same data that native applications generate and transform,” said Ben Gitenstein, Vice President of Product at Qumulo. “Qumulo’s new CSI driver enables customers to store unstructured data once but serve it to an infinite number of both native applications and container-based microservices – all without moving data, copying it to disparate systems, or changing their workloads. Customers who store their data on Qumulo can now focus their time on building modern applications, not on moving or managing their data.”

To learn more about how Qumulo can help support Kubernetes workloads, download our datasheet.

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